Jeremy Houghton


Contact Information
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If I had to sum up my philosophy in a sentence, it would be to show students the passion I have for the food service field by lessons, lectures, demonstrations and respect for our business.“

Biography

The Merriam-Webster definition of teaching is “to cause or help someone to learn about a subject by giving lessons.” (Teach, n.d.)

Jeremy Houghton looks at his past, and realizes that life is learning. Each day we learn and add that information to what we have already learned. Houghton has been blessed in his life with the ability to have a career doing something he loves. One might think that is teaching, but in fact, that is not his career. His career is and always will be the food service field.

At an early age, Houghton realized that he enjoyed cooking. He then came to the realization that  he did not just enjoy cooking — it was what made him the happiest in life. The career of someone who is a chef or in the food service field may not seem glamourous to those outside the business. One might say that someone doesn’t choose this field for the money, as does Houghton. Someone who cooks for a living is someone who enjoys it and the satisfaction of making people happy through their cooking.

So when looking at his teaching philosophy, Houghton realized that he teaches because he loves what he teaches. To be a successful educator, someone must be passionate about what they do. This passion is the only way you can be successful as a teacher. If he had to sum up his philosophy in a sentence, it would be to show students the passion he has for the food service field by lessons, lectures, demonstrations, and respect for the business.

Houghton looks back at all of the educators he has had in the past. Some of these people are teachers, friends, chefs, co-workers and parents. They have taught him life and his passion, the food service field. Houghton has taken many of the wonderful traits of those people to make him the person he is today. When he walks into a classroom, Houghton is now passionate about teaching students all the learning he has done in his life.

Houghton's concept of teaching is that he is embracing all of his education to give students the best knowledge possible. He talks TO them, not above them. Houghton wants students to see him as a role model and someone they can become. He finds himself more times telling students stories of cooking or wine. He can list all of the facts about braising or stewing on the board or on a PowerPoint slide, but it seems students learn by Houghton talking to them instead of lecturing to them. He feels that this is his teaching style. He talks to them about the material they need to learn, not lecture them on what they should know. Houghton will talk about the pressure of working the line when he was a chef in Alaska, being able to cook items without having to think about how to, or needing a recipe. That it was in that moment, that he realized that he had become a chef. Houghton also refers to the grueling textbook studying needed for his level 2 sommelier exam. He talks about still learning the new ways of cooking through the modernist cuisine program and techniques that are becoming popular.

Through all of these, Houghton believes that he creates a special bond with students and that he is one of them. They see him as someone who is an equal, and that they can achieve what he has. Houghton frequently uses discussions with students. He will begin a topic and allow the students to continue the topic through the discussion. He won’t make them take notes on the matter; they will just talk. Houghton believes at times, students can learn more by just talking and listening than writing down information from a PowerPoint.

It is during these discussions when Houghton sees if the students are retaining the information that they have talked about. He often will have quiz questions that can have more than one answer to see if students are comprehending and formulating the material he has been teaching. These questions require more in-depth answers than just, “The sky is blue.” Students should take all of their education and experience and put the knowledge retained to formulate an educated response. An example would be when Houghton asks, “What is the ratio of rice to water when making rice?” Most students will say 1:2. This is correct if using converted rice. However, there are many more types of rice that have different ratios, like arborio, which uses a ratio of 1:4. This allows them to anticipate more high-level recognition questions on examples.

Houghton will continue to grow with his education and experiences. As he stated at the beginning, you learn every day. He still works in the industry to keep current and to be able to relate to the students better. He can bring the real world to them every day. He will attend and speak at seminars to bring back critical information to the students.

Even though he teaches, Houghton is still part of the food service field. He is lucky enough to teach a subject that he loves, and he loves that he teaches.

Areas of Expertise

  • Culinary Arts

Certifications

  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE)
  • National Restaurant Association, Foodservice Management Professional
  • National Restaurant Association, ServSafe Alcohol Instructor
  • International Sommelier Guild, Level 1 and 2 Certification
  • Federation of Dining Room Professionals, Certified Associate Wine Steward
  • Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wine & Spirits
  • Society of Wine Educators, Certified Specialist of Spirits